Digital transformation starts with an attitude

Published: 1-Oct-2020

The key to digital transformation has been indelibly linked to the latest technology. More often than not, however, we find that it’s not just a case of bolting on a few digital channels to your existing traditional model and calling this your new strategy

Before you can begin the journey of digital transformation, the whole concept of your business model, right down to the foundations, needs to be rethought. One of the critical factors to success is the mindset of the people within your organisation. If your team can think in terms of a digital business, they can help to rebuild the strategy.

If you have a team of people who are fixed in their mindset, though, and believe that pharma sales is still purely a face-to-face process, then you need to help guide them towards a different way of thinking so they will become open and able to change.

Kevin Lennon, Business Unit Director at Star OUTiCO, a service provider to the pharmaceutical industry, argues that one way to achieve this is by using the learning technique of KASH. It’s a known performance coaching technique for sales and motivation and describes a pathway to a new way of thinking. It looks like this.

Knowledge: There is not a fixed level of human intelligence or potential as once thought. Evidence suggests that the human brain continues to adapt to meet changing needs and demands many years after early childhood. You can build and grow by stepping out of your comfort zone, ensuring that your sales team have sufficient knowledge to confidently use the technology and positively sell in a new channel.

Attitude: It’s generally regarded that skills and knowledge are easier to develop and change than attitude and habits. Attitude is everything. Your mindset to using technology and your ability to conceptualise digital brand commercialisation will optimise your performance with healthcare professonals. The absence of this will simply lead to a traditional key account management (KAM) that has new technology that won’t be used.

Skills: This is about people’s ability to perform and you must have the knowledge before learning the skills. This can apply to any category, whether that’s technological, behavioural or analytical skills. To perform skills competently, there must be regular practice and experience.

Habit: Turning skills into positive learning habits. Successful sales habits are the result of all of the above, done repeatedly, without conscious thought. As Aristotle explained: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is then not an act but a habit.”

The KASH technique is just one part of making the journey into digital a successful one. If you’re a senior leader at the beginning of your transition, the first step is to look at your own working practice; remember, great leaders don’t tell people what to do, they show them first.

Consider the benefits of multichannel working in your own role; how does it improve your productivity? How has your working week changed? If you experience the benefits of multichannel yourself, you will be in the best position to start your digital transition … and lead your team to success.

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